The blockbuster movie “Pink” starring Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu, as we’ve said before, is too close to reality. The reality of being women in India - and the thoughts and the fears we have in our day-to-day lives. The movie was really hard-hitting, and it has received innumerable good reviews. (If you still haven’t watched it, you should go and book your tickets right away!!) A few days ago, The Times Of India reported that many government officials think it would be a good to use the film to create awareness about the legal aids and resources that we have access to, but we might be unaware of them. And we actually learned quite a few things from the movie. It’s a story of three young working women in Delhi, who weren’t aware of all their legal rights - just like most of us.
In the movie, Minal (the character played by Tapsee Pannu) goes to the police station to file an FIR against some guys who were harassing and threatening her and her friends after she injured one of them because he was trying to assault her. But the officials refused saying that the place where the incident took place was different, and that she would have to file an FIR there. When she goes to a senior officer, though, he introduces her to the concept of “Zero FIR”. This and many other legal terms from the movie “Pink” should be in every girl’s dictionary. Here are a few terms and laws for women that we learned from the movie and which EVERY girl should be aware of…
1. Zero FIR
As we told you, this term was introduced in the movie when Minal went to a senior officer who asked her to file a Zero FIR. This means that the FIR can be filed at any police station, irrespective of the place where the incident took place. If you aren’t at the police station which has the jurisdiction to investigate the case, or for some reason you can’t go that police station, you can file a Zero FIR at a police station near you. They can forward the FIR to the concerned police station (that has jurisdiction to investigate the case). It is called “Zero” FIR, because it is not numbered at the police station you report it to - it is forwarded to the concerned police station and is numbered there. Therefore, the police can’t refuse to completely register the FIR on ground that the offence was not committed within their jurisdiction.
2. Bail on weekends
In the movie, Falak and Andrea try arranging for Minal’s bail on a Friday, but a lawyer tells them to come back on Monday since it would not be possible to get her bailed out on weekend. Just when they thought that it was impossible to get her out, Amitabh Bachchan (playing the role of a retired lawyer named Deepak Sehgal) comes to their rescue. He tells them that women and minors can be bailed on Saturdays and Sundays. He tells them that the emergency bail proceedings can be heard at the judge’s house on weekends.
3. Section 164: The recording of statements
When Minal was being interrogated by her lawyer Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan), he asked her some very personal questions. The judge offered her to get her statement recorded in a private space on camera rather than have her speak in open court. Under Section 164 of the code of criminal procedure, a woman can voluntarily record her statement on camera in a private space with just one police officer and a woman constable.While reporting an incident about rape or sexual assault, it is very important that the victim feels comfortable. A woman can record her statement at a convenient place where other people cannot overhear the statement.
4. Section 354
In the movie, Rajveer (the guy who was trying to assault Minal), was charged under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Court. This law states that any person who tries to assault or uses criminal force on any woman, intending to outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment. This is a very powerful legal weapon for women. Any person who tries to assault a woman can be charged under this section.
5. Section 503: Protection against criminal intimidation
When Minal and her friends were being threatened and harassed by Rajveer and his friends, they filed a complaint against them under Section 503 of the Indian Penal Court. If a person threatens to injure someone, their reputation or their property - that person would be held guilty under this section. A person would also be held guilty if they threaten someone indirectly. For example: Rajveer’s friends threatened Minal and her friends’ landlord - by doing this they were guilty of criminal intimidation.